Shimogamo Shrine

Shimogamo Shrine (下鴨神社), linked to the northern Kamimono Shrine, is part of the world heritage sites in Kyoto. It is one of the oldest shrines in Japan, thought to be dating back to the 6th century. Not one of the most popular shrines, but worth visiting if you have done the most famous ones alreadyContinue reading “Shimogamo Shrine”

Kamigamo Shrine

Kamigamo Shrine (上賀茂神社), twinned with Shimogamo Shrine to the south, is an important Shinto shrine in northern Kyoto. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is known across the country for its iconic Tatesuna & Saiden sand cones. The shrine is also surrounded by a picturesque primeval forest. Budget travel tips Visiting shrines can getContinue reading “Kamigamo Shrine”

Daigoji Temple

Daigoji Temple (醍醐寺) is a picturesque Buddhist temple in south Kyoto. While a bit run down in places, the main pagoda and red bridge are iconic sites that set Daigoji Temple apart from all the other countless temples in Kyoto. It is also quieter than the other ones, due to being about 30 minutes fromContinue reading “Daigoji Temple”

Ninna-ji Temple

Ninna-ji Temple (仁和寺) is yet another awesome World Heritage listed temple in Kyoto. The temple was founded in 888 by the reigning emperor and has many interesting features. Highlights include a five story pagoda and elegantly painted Japanese doors and walls in the head priests building. Top Tips Ryoanji temple is only a short walk or bus away,Continue reading “Ninna-ji Temple”

Tenryuji Temple

Tenryuji Temple (天龍寺) is ranked as one of Kyoto’s top temples and a World Heritage site. The large, but fun to navigate complex houses a beautiful pond surrounded by well manicured gardens and stone decorations. Budget travel tips Combine a trip here with the bamboo forest next door. Make sure you get a ticket for the gardens and buildings,Continue reading “Tenryuji Temple”

Toji Temple

Toji Temple (東寺) is one of the two ‘guardian temples’ that was built when Japan’s capital was moved from Nara to Kyoto. Toji translates as ‘east temple’. It is a World Heritage listed Buddhist temple, famous for its grand 5 story, 54.8 m high pagoda, which is the highest wooden tower in Japan. Budget travel tips Walk to the temple from Kyoto stationContinue reading “Toji Temple”

Ryoanji Temple

Ryoanji Temple (龍安寺), meaning The Temple of the Dragon at Peace, is a World Heritage listed “dry landscape” garden and temple. It is considered to be one of, if not the best, examples of these in Japan.This garden style features large rock formations with pebbles raked in linear patterns to help in meditation. Budget travel tips Note thatContinue reading “Ryoanji Temple”

Uji

Uji (宇治) is a popular tourist spot known for it’s many centuries old shrines and temples, 2 of which are listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites. While it is famous for these sites, Uji has also been blessed with amazing nature and is a good place to come for an easy walk or hike. BudgetContinue reading “Uji”

Honganji Temples

The Honganji temples, consisting of Nishi Honganji (west temple) and Higashi Honganji (east temple), are large Buddist complexes walking distance from Kyoto station.  Not as beautiful as Kinkaku-ji Temple or Ginkaku-ji Temple, but nice temples to have a walk around. Budget travel tips Save some money and see the city a bit by walking from Kyoto stationContinue reading “Honganji Temples”

Kinkaku-ji Temple

Kinkaku-ji Temple, AKA Temple of the Golden Pavilion, is something you really have to see with your own eyes.  The beautiful temple on a lake is surrounded by a quiet, peaceful garden and a real must see in Kyoto.  Also a World Heritage site. Budget travel tips Worth combining with the Arashiyama Bamboo Groves, to save onContinue reading “Kinkaku-ji Temple”

Ginkaku-ji Temple

Ginkaku-ji (Temple of Shining Mercy) is a stunning Zen Buddhist temple and a highlight of any trip to Kyoto. The traditional Japanese garden around the temple is full of interesting stone/gravel decorations and a ‘wishing stone’. Budget travel tips Combine this with a trip to Nanzen-ji temple, via the Philosopher’s Walk.  This should provide for a whole afternoon/morning’sContinue reading “Ginkaku-ji Temple”

Nijo Castle

Another UNESCO World Heritage site, Nijo castle is another must see in Kyoto.  The free Japanese garden is nice to walk around, and the castle buildings provide plenty of photo taking opportunities. Budget travel tips Come here early, as it takes a while to explore. It’s best to take the bus here, as the subwayContinue reading “Nijo Castle”